Life with Braces

Sticky

  • caramel
  • gums

Chewy

  • bagels
  • hard rolls
  • licorice

Crunchy

  • popcorn
  • ice
  • chips

Hard

  • nuts
  • candy

Foods with a bite

  • apples
  • corn on the cob
  • carrots

It’s not going to be easy at first, and in the beginning foods you can eat will be limited.

You’ll want to stick to foods that are soft, fluffy and easily mashed up. Pancakes, oatmeal, bananas, soups, cooked vegetables, applesauce, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, and soft ice cream – just to suggest a few. Stay away from foods that are hard, crunchy, sticky or tough.

There are a few tricks around some problem foods. You can cook your vegetables to make them softer, cut your corn off the cob, and slice apples and sandwiches into small, bite sized pieces.

If you’re in doubt about a particular food, ask the doctor.

Brushing

Using a soft bristled toothbrush begin by brushing the outside of your teeth and braces holding the brush tilted at a 45 degree angle. Brush along the top and bottom of the braces using light to moderate pressure, making sure you cover every surface very carefully. Don’t forget to brush the teeth all the way in the back and behind your back molars. It’s a good practice to brush for three minutes at least twice a day. Using a timer or singing along to a song will help you keep track of your time.

brushing

Flossing

Flossing at least once a day is very important for good dental hygiene and to keep your teeth healthy. Flossing with braces may seem difficult at first. To floss properly, you will need to thread the floss under the archwire. This can be done in two ways – either by threading the floss through on your own or using a floss threader to thread the floss under the wire.

When threading the floss, it is a good practice to start by pushing the floss vertically from the top to the bottom on your upper teeth and from the bottom to the top on your bottom teeth, always threading away from your gums. Once threaded, carefully floss around each tooth and gum, moving the floss up and down, just like you did with out braces.

If you play sports, it’s important that you consult us for special precautions.

A protective mouthguard is advised for playing contact sports. In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth and the appliances immediately. If teeth are loosened or the appliances damaged, phone at once for an appointment. In the meantime, treat your discomfort as you would treat any general soreness.

Continue smiling when your orthdontic treatment is complete!

  • Wear your retainers full time, until the doctor instructs otherwise.
  • Take your retainers out when eating… and always put retainers in their case! (Most appliances are lost in school lunch rooms or restaurants.)
  • Clean retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use warm but not hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque, and eliminates odors. Efferdent® or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used, but do not take the place of brushing.
  • When retainers are not in your mouth they should ALWAYS be in a retainer case. Pets love to chew on them!
  • Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to them faster.
  • Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care. If retainers are lost or broken call us immediately.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about your retainers, or your retainers need adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust them yourself.
  • Always bring your retainers to your appointments.
  • Retainer replacement is expensive… with proper care they will last for years!
  • Remove retainers when swimming.
  • Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.

Loosening of Teeth

This is to be expected throughout treatment. Don’t worry! It’s normal. Teeth must loosen first so they can be moved. The teeth will again become rigidly fixed in their new ? corrected ? positions.

Loose Wire of Band

Don’t be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If a wire protrudes and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (the back of spoon or the eraser end of a pencil) and carefully, gently push the irritating wire under the archwire. Simply get it out of the way. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or wet cotton on the wire to reduce the annoyance. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the appliances. If any piece comes off, save it and bring it with you to the office.

For orthodontic-related emergencies, our office is here to help.

emergencyMost emergency situations can be temporarily taken care of at home, though. Usually loose brackets and wires that are causing some discomfort or poking can be covered in wax or pushed back into place. Loose and poking wires can be manipulated using tweezers or a pencil eraser. It’s still important to call the office and set up an appointment to have the issue corrected.

In the event of a more severe issue (an appliance breaks, a wire slips loose, or is preventing the mouth from opening or closing) call our office to schedule an appointment and have the problem taken care of right away.

Keep in mind that there may be some discomfort for a few weeks after getting your braces on and for several days after an adjustment. In these situations, rinsing with salt water or taking an over-the-counter pain reliever may alleviate the pain.

For situations requiring immediate medical attention, you should contact your doctor or local emergency medical services.


types of braces

metal

Metal

Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces and are more comfortable today than ever before. Made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten your teeth using metal brackets and archwires. With metal braces, you have the option of adding colored elastics (rubber bands) for a more unique and colorful smile.

ceramic

Ceramic

Ceramic braces are made of clear materials and are therefore less visible on your teeth than metal braces. For this reason, ceramic braces are used mainly on older teenagers and adult patients who have cosmetic concerns. While they are visually less prominent, they do require more attention to oral hygiene as ceramic braces are larger and are more brittle than their metal counterparts. For these reasons, ceramic braces tend to be used more on upper front teeth than on lower teeth.

clear

Clear

Clear appliances (such as Invisalign®) use a series of invisible, removable, and comfortable aligners to straighten your teeth. And, no one can tell you are wearing those aligners because they are invisible! Not only are the aligners invisible, they are removable, so you can eat and drink what you want while in treatment, plus brushing and flossing are less of a hassle. The aligners are comfortable and have no metal to cause mouth abrasions during treatment.


Ever wanted to get beautiful, straight teeth – without braces?

invisalign_logo invisalign-braces

What is it?

Invisalign offers a cutting-edge approach to orthodontics by using a series of custom-made, invisible aligners. Using 3-D computer imaging, each aligner is specific to your teeth and gradually and gently shift your teeth into place. The best part about the whole process is that most people won’t even know you are wearing the aligners. So you can smile with confidence, both during and after your treatment.

Why Would I Want it?

There are no metal brackets or wires to tighten. The clear aligners are virtually invisible to other people so no one will notice you are wearing the aligners. The aligners are also removable, which means you can eat what you want, brush your teeth with ease and floss with no problems. With the complete, virtual treatment plan, you can see the anticipated results before even starting your treatment. Since you have a series of aligners instead of metal wires and brackets, you actually need to go to our office less often to get adjustments.

How does it work?

Using modern 3-D imaging technology, a custom set of aligners is made for you. Every two weeks, you switch to a new aligner. As you switch aligners, your teeth gradually and comfortably shift, resulting in a beautiful smile. Dr. Arnold will have you come by their office every six weeks to confirm the progress of your treatment. On average, you will be in treatment for 9 – 15 months and wear 18 – 30 different aligners. However, actual treatment times will depend on your particular case.


parts of braces

braces-diagram-layered